Giants star Joanne Harten (right) clashes with the Lightning's Karla Pretorius. Picture: AAP
Giants star Joanne Harten (right) clashes with the Lightning's Karla Pretorius. Picture: AAP

Giants burned by Lightning comeback

A YEAR ago last weekend, Giants players stared at each other in disbelief as Sunshine Coast Lightning claimed the inaugural Super Netball crown.

A year on, Giants players weren't sure whether to laugh or cry after they squandered an eight-goal lead to finish in a draw with the Lightning for the first time.

The best defensive team in the league racked up the 53-53 draw in Queensland in a thrilling rematch of last year's grand final.

It is a result the Giants, beaten only twice this season, will likely rue after dominating the game early before struggling to match the fighting spirit of a desperate Lightning side playing for survival in the competition.

The draw on the Sunshine Coast came in the wake of the Giants' 63-60 victory over danger side the Collingwood Magpies last round.

It also came after a slow start, with the Giants trailing early before taking a 17-12 lead - and valuable bonus point - into the first break.

Jo Harten shoots. Picture: Getty Images
Jo Harten shoots. Picture: Getty Images

The Giants extended their lead to eight goals early in the second quarter as the Lightning struggled to penetrate the visitors' top defence or thwart the superb feeding of captain Kim Green and stellar shooting from Susan Pettitt and Jo Harten.

But the Lightning refused to back down, reducing the margin to just four (29-25) at half-time and taking the bonus point for outscoring the Giants 13-12.

The Lightning continued to chip away to equalise at 38-38 two minutes before the end of the third quarter and go into the break up 41-40.

The Giants took back the lead late in the final period before a series of mistakes allowed Lightning captain Caitlin Bassett to equalise for the draw in the final seconds of the match.

Serena Guthrie reacts at full-time. Picture: AAP
Serena Guthrie reacts at full-time. Picture: AAP

Bassett top-scored in the game with 40 from 44.

Giants goal shooter Harten scored 30 from 33 and Pettitt 21 from 25.

"It is so weird, I don't know if I like it, this draw thing," Giants captain Kim Green said.

"We are super-disappointed about it. But it could have been worse I guess.

"Still, we were up in the last few minutes and we still let it slip. That's disappointing for us.

"It's a close competition and we have let a few teams back in with this result. That's not good."


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